Protests or Pro-Tests? History shows that in the long run, protests function as a test for the system. Protests test, challenge and thus in the end strengthen the system, as the ‘natural reaction’ of the system consciousness is to solidify their dominion through more and more control and the accumulation of power – therefore what prevails in the end is the status quo of capitalism.
Capitalism is a control state. The world is, has become, a control state based on the pillars of capitalism: Divide and Conquer.
Capitalism controls the creation, flow and distribution of money. Money is required to survive in this world. Therefore in essence capitalism is ‘god’ with money as the ‘son’ and the accepted human nature/consciousness (greed, fear, manipulation) as the ‘holy spirit’ of mankind.
Everything is in reverse: that which makes ‘us’ happy, successful, shiny and bright – is the evil that contributes to the suffering, exploitation and devastation of our world as a whole.
Therefore please – when we protest, let’s make sure that our efforts are not just perpetuating the current conditions through providing the friction that creates further polarization/separation and therefore tacitly calls for more control, more austerity measures, more confinement. When we protest, we must make sure we are coming-forth with an alternative that can be applied by all life as a solution that is best for all.
The OCCUPY movement could be and should be demanding BIG for all – Basic Income Grant. Every human being could be bailed out with BIG, by empowering every human with increase and assured power of and access to both education and the economy. BIG implemented in every country would both stimulate the national economies as well as END GLOBAL STARVATION and homelessness. Politicians and capitalism as is can easily implement BIG globally, while getting a rare chance for ‘grace’.
OCCUPY movements must demand BIG for All. So if you are out there protesting, make sure your voice counts for what is Best for All.
Investigate and read all about the BIG pilot project and the Basic Income organizations and movements in America, Japan, Germany, Austria, and other European countries.
Watch the following video interview by Matti Freeman elaborating on the common sense of practical equality:
Is BIG big enough?
No doubt, the BIG-Project must be applauded. After only 6 months of implementation in Namibia, the Statistics significantly show how Equal Money as ‘applied principle’ has positive effects in all aspects of social life. (*see Executive Summary at the end of this blog post)
Why do we at Desteni propose a global equality system and appeal to every human being to re-evaluate itself and the relationships we exist within?
The Basic Income model as it is presented in the countries where it’s discussed or tested in, is functionally designed within the bounds of the current system = it is subject to the current system. The model does not underline the necessity to remove hierarchy completely, so as to provide the opportunity for equal relationships at all levels. BIG is based on donations and grants as well as taxes and government funds – which implies a certain level of dependency and the acceptance of some countries as superior and others as inferior, not yet placing into perspective the freedom of all people as equals of life.
An Equal Money System is based on the value of life and thus requires a total transformation of our entire economic, political and social structures. The Desteni model sees the whole world as One and All Life as Equal – and therefore emphasizes the necessity of actual Equality in our relationships at all levels; Equal participation in all socio-economic interactions must be made possible. The necessity to remove the existing Hierarchies and to distribute Resources equally is self-evident.
An actual Solution must consider even the least educated and make sure that they, too, experience a change in their lives: self-dignity, self-responsibility, self-support. A first step towards this, is BIG.
Once survival-fear is eliminated, education will lead the way to practical ways of self-governance that will lay the foundation of a new world.
The Basic Income model functions within the bounds of the current capitalist system and is about ‘improving’ the current socio-economic structures. Within this is implied the acceptance of the current status quo, and this includes the acceptance of money as ‘scarcity’ within a closed system of con polarity, controlled through fear and deliberate miseducation.
So, education itself as a system will have to change drastically – because the aim will no longer be to produce system slaves to keep the system going – but accountable, independent individuals that are able to make actual choices, as choice will no longer be controlled through money. Practical common sense considerations of what will effectively work for all in a living reality is what is relevant.
What we present with the Equal Money System is a complete re-evaluation and transformation of how we manage our economies, our politics, our societies and our lives – our relationships and interactions at all levels.
What we see is that money is man-made and therefore able to be re-defined from scratch, based on the actual needs and demands of this physical reality we all share. ‘Scarcity of money’ is but a man-made control-tactic in an attempt to justify the continuation of the current system and perpetuate the fear of survival most people exist in.
As a new, global socio-economic system based on actual life support, Equal Money is about demonstrating that we value Life and each-other equally. Within an Equal Money System, labor will be re-redefined, so that work is a platform for self-expression, self-expansion, self-enjoyment, contribution, sharing. At the same time, Equal Money from birth to death will provide the basics from food to housing to education and freedom of movement for all – removing survival-based stress. Money does not have to continue holding the accepted ‘value’ it currently has. Surviving is not Living – we can all agree on that.
Equality goes all the way by addressing the point as to what the value of life really is. In the faces of their children, parents see how the value of life is irreplaceable – and all is one in this assessment. What must be realized is that we cannot have what we are not willing to give. We cannot have our life valued if we are not willing to value all life as equally valuable. This is what we take into application within a new value system by giving the value of life to all and everything. ‘Equal life’, ‘equal money’ – that is the highest value that ‘money’ can have; a value that never diminishes. All that we need to make this happen – is agree that we already actually agree.
While the Basic Income model is still about ‘survival’, the ‘Equal Money for All’-model is aimed at eliminating the paradigm of ‘survival’ wherein we exist in survival-mode and compete against each-other; and bring forth a new equality system based on the value of Life. The value of Life is Life. It is that simple. All can agree that surviving is not living, and that cannot truly LIVE and explore what life can be as long as we are busy surviving.
A transformation of the current survival-system requires the acceptance that Life IS the value; and based on this value, All beings born Here have an equal right to life and to everything that the earth and technology provide.
>>>> Investigate BIG, and investigate the global equality solution of the equal money system. Get informed, get involved! Because an actual and viable solution can only from the common people, you and me, standing up for life, in COMMON SENSE. Such solution cannot come from the corporations, the current politicians, or anyone participating in the fear of loss and the love of profit!
*The following Executive Summary statistics from the BIG pilot project in Namibia show how Equality brings forth dignity, self-empowerment, self-sustainability – and benefits for all participants:
In January 2008, the Basic Income Grant (BIG) pilot project commenced in the Otjivero-Omitara area, about 100 kilometres east of Windhoek. All residents below the age of 60 years receive a Basic Income Grant of N$100 per person per month, without any conditions being attached. The grant is being given to every person registered as living there in July 2007, whatever their social and economic status.
This BIG pilot project is designed and implemented by the Namibian
Basic Income Grant Coalition (established in 2004) and is the first universal cash-transfer pilot project in the world. The BIG Coalition aims to practically pilot the Namibian Government’s NAMTAX recommendation of a BIG for Namibia. Thus the BIG Coalition regards this project as the first step towards a BIG for all. The BIG Coalition consists of four big umbrella bodies in Namibia, namely, Council of Churches (CCN), the Namibian Union of Namibian Workers (NUNW), the Namibian NGO Forum (NANGOF) and the Namibian Network of AIDS Service Organisations(NANASO). Funds to start the pilot project were raised through voluntary contributions from supporters of the idea from all sections of Namibia’s society, and by support from people, churches, organisations and donors in other countries. The BIG pilot project will run for a period of 24 months up to December 2009.
The effects of the BIG pilot project are evaluated on an on-going basis. Four complementary methods were used. First, a baseline survey was conducted in November 2007. Second, panel surveys were conducted in July and November 2008. Third, information was gathered from key informants in the area. Fourth, a series of detailed case studies of individuals living in Otjivero-Omitara was carried out.
This report presents the socio-economic results after the implementation of the BIG for 12 months. The key findings include the following:
➢ Before the introduction of the BIG, Otjivero-Omitara was characterised by unemployment, hunger and poverty. Most residents had settled there because they had nowhere else to go, their lives were shaped by deprivation and they had little hope for the future.
➢ The introduction of the BIG ignited hope and the community responded by establishing its own 18-member committee to mobilise the community and to advise residents on how to spend the BIG money wisely. This suggests that the introduction of a BIG can effectively assist with community mobilisation and empowerment.
➢ As the BIG was only introduced in one particular location, there was a significant migration towards Otjivero-Omitara. Impoverished family members moved into Otjivero, attracted by the BIG, even if migrants themselves did not receive the grant. This points to the need to introduce the BIG as a universal national grant in order to avoid migration to particular regions, towns or households.
➢ The migration to Otjivero-Omitara affected the data obtained for this study. Per capita income from the BIG dropped from N$ 89 per month in January 2008 to N$ 67 in November 2008. We thus analysed the impact of the BIG, taking the influence of migration into consideration.
➢ Since the introduction of the BIG, household poverty has dropped significantly. Using the food poverty line, 76% of residents fell below this line in November 2007. This was reduced to 37% within one year of the BIG. Amongst households that were not affected by in-migration, the rate dropped to 16%. This shows that a national BIG would have a dramatic impact on poverty levels in Namibia.
➢ The introduction of the BIG has led to an increase in economic activity. The rate of those engaged in income generating activities (above the age of 15) increased from 44% to 55%. Thus the BIG enabled recipients to increase their work both for pay, profit or family gain as well as self-employment. The grant enabled recipients to increase their productive income earned, particularly through starting their own small business, including brick-making, baking of bread and dress-making. The BIG contributed to the creation of a local market by increasing households’ buying power. This finding contradicts critics’ claims that the BIG would lead to laziness and dependency.
➢ The BIG resulted in a huge reduction of child malnutrition. Using a WHO measurement technique, the data shows that children’s weight-for-age has improved significantly in just six months from 42% of underweight children in November 2007 to 17% in June 2008 and 10% in November 2008.
➢ HIV positive residents’ access to ARVs was hampered by poverty and a lack of transport before the BIG was introduced. The BIG enabled them to afford nutritious food and gain access to the medication. This was further enhanced by government’s decision to make ARVs available in Otjivero, freeing residents from the need to travel to Gobabis.
➢ Before the introduction of the BIG, almost half of the school-going children did not attend school regularly. Pass rates stood at about 40% and drop-out rates were high. Many parents were unable to pay the school fee. After the introduction of the BIG, more than double the number of parents paid school fees (90%) and most of the children now have school uniforms. Non-attendance due to financial reasons dropped by 42% and this rate would have been even higher without the effects of migration towards Otjivero-Omitara. Drop-out rates at the school fell from almost 40% in November 2007 to 5% in June 2008 and further to almost 0% in November 2008.
➢ The residents have been using the settlement’s health clinic much more regularly since the introduction of the BIG. Residents now pay the N$4 payment for each visit and the income of the clinic has increased fivefold from N$ 250 per month to about N$ 1,300.
➢ The BIG contributed to the reduction of household debt with the average debt falling from N$ 1,215 to N$ 772 between November 2007 and November 2008. Savings increased during that period, which was reflected in the increasing ownership of large livestock, small livestock and poultry.
➢ The BIG has contributed to a significant reduction of crime. Overall crime rates – as reported to the local police station – fell by 42% while stock theft fell by 43% and other theft by nearly 20%.
➢ The introduction of the Basic Income Grant has reduced the dependency of women on men for their survival. The BIG has given women a measure of control over their own sexuality, freeing them to some extent from the pressure to engage in transactional sex.
➢ The criticism that the BIG is leading to increasing alcoholism is not supported by empirical evidence. The community committee is trying to curb alcoholism and has reached an agreement with local shebeen owners not to sell alcohol on the day of the pay-out of the grants.
➢ The BIG is a form of social protection, which reduces poverty and supports pro-poor economic growth. As a national policy it would greatly assist Namibia in achieving the Millenium Development Goals to which the country has committed itself.
➢ The costs of a national BIG in Namibia are substantial. The net costs will be between N$ 1,2 – 1,6 billion per year, equivalent to 2,2 – 3% of Namibia’s GDP. There are various options to finance such a national grant. A moderate adjustment of VAT combined with an increase in income taxes is one option. This would benefit all middle and lower income households in terms of available incomes. Other financing options include a re-prioritisation of the national budget and the introduction of a special levy on natural resources.
➢ An econometric analysis revealed that Namibia’s tax capacity exceeds 30% of the national income. The current collection rate is below 25% and thus Namibia’s excess capacity to raise tax revenue significantly exceeds the net costs of a Basic Income Grant. This makes the BIG affordable in Namibia.
➢ A national BIG would have several medium to long-term benefits. Based on the developments in Otjivero-Omitara, it is safe to argue that the BIG will reduce poverty and unemployment, increase economic activities and productivity, improve educational outcomes and the health status of most Namibians.
Report from 6 months after implementation: http://www.bignam.org/Publications/BIG_Assessment_report_08a.pdf
Report from 1 year after implementation: http://www.bignam.org/Publications/BIG_Assessment_report_08b.pdf